Built for Apes? - 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long Term Road Test

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Built for Apes?

April 12, 2012

MiEV Interior.jpg 
Photo by Scott Jacobs

I rarely fail to find a comfortable driving position. At 5'10", I'm pretty close to the average height of the American male adult. That's why I'm so surprised that the Mitsubishi i MiEV fits me so poorly.

When I get in a car, the first thing I adjust is the travel of the seat. I try to get the seat to a point where my legs are supported by the cushion, comfortably outstretched and have easy contact with the pedals. Then, I adjust the rake of the seatback so I can grab the 4- and 8-o'clock position of the steering wheel with my elbows bent around 90 degrees.

The problem with the i MiEV is that the steering wheel neither tilts nor telescopes. With the wheel permanently mounted  too close to the dash, my arms are stretched far past my comfort zone. That leads me to believe that this car was designed with the average Japanese in mind (males: 5'7", females: 5'2"). Either that, or it was made for the average American male with ape arms.

With this in mind, I think Mitsubishi should have added a tilt and telescoping wheel for the non-Asian markets. I mean, how will tall-man Riswick drive the i MiEV?

I suppose we'll have to invest in a pair of these robot arms for him. Wait, now that I visualize that, we DEFINITELY need to get him some robot arms.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 644 miles

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